I did this site years ago after volunteering on a crisis hotline and teaching English as a Second Language to courageous people in challenging circumstances. This site is dedicated to them all, and to discouraged hearts, stubborn dreamers and fools for love. I originally envisioned an admittedly corny cyber-attempt to emulate Jo March in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. When Friedrich tells Jo he has nothing to give her but a full heart and two empty hands, she puts both her hands in his and whispers, “Not empty now.” Hence this place to share some thoughts that have encouraged me or summoned a smile.
Love in the Time of Nausea*
I can remember the first time I was hellaciously seasick—puking over the edge of a 36-foot sloop that bounced like a ping pong ball in choppy seas and gathering winds, headed for Cat Cay in the Bahamas with no land in sight. Below deck, everything that had been stowed away so carefully had crashed in a jumbled heap on the floor. I never thought sailing could take me to my knees, never thought I could feel so awful in my gut, so disoriented, so utterly lacking in my ability to control the circumstances. I never thought I could want anything as much as I wanted solid ground beneath my feet.
Even on solid ground that feeling can return—when life seems harsh and uncertain, when it takes strange turns and familiar forms dissolve, leaving us with nothing to hold on to, feeling frustrated, foolish, alone, or numb with grief, anger or regret, and no land in sight, for days or months or years. When having hope, faith, dreams or even plans seems naive, and fear wakes us at 3 a.m. and starts a monologue we really don’t want to hear—what then? When discouragement, doubt and uncertainty ground us and our decision is no decision, our action is no action—what then? How can we go on at all, much less be able to express love in the time of nausea?
When life isn’t following our logic, just getting out of bed and facing the day may be courageous. To continue to walk our path and find love in our hearts for ourselves and others, and to act from this love (instead of from fear, anger, cynicism or doubt) in the darkest of times, would surely place us among (above?) a pantheon of superheroes. This site is about finding that love within ourselves during the darker parts of the journey. Maybe you’ll find something here to smile about or a horizon line to keep you steady**—and keep you moving down your own heroic path…
*with apologies to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
** if you’re on a boat and feeling seasick, one time-honored solution is to keep an eye on the horizon line, which is usually the only thing that remains steady when everything around you is swaying, lurching, reeling and rolling.